Kollam: Digging into the history of South India, a multidisciplinary team of 30 scholars from 10 different countries will collaborate on new interpretations of the “Kollam plates”, an ancient legal document issued at the ancient port city of Kollam.
The copper plates known as Kollam copper plate grants are from the 9th century. Legal documents are inscribed onto copper sheets and were written at the ancient port of Kollam in 849 AD.
The research project is led by De Montfort University in collaboration with the British Museum and was funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council.
“The plates which date back to about 1200 years will help us know about the ancient trade through the Indian Ocean, the reign of Chera Kings, the social and economic scenario including beliefs and customs of the people in those times.
We have seven such documents, out of which four are kept in the custody of the Kottayam Bishop while three are with the Bishop of Thiruvalla diocese,” said Prof. Kesavan Veluthat, a member of the research team.
One part of the document grants land and tax privileges to an Eastern Christian church and gives an insight into the Christian community of 9th century Kollam. The second part of the document assigns two trade associations, “Manigramam” and “Ancuvannam”, to oversee trade in the marketplace in Kollam in ancient times.
The results of these meetings will be published in 2015 along with the English translation of the “Kollam plates”....